BBC unveils digital General Election coverage

BBC News is placing young voters, digital journalism and its deepest ever scrutiny of policy at the heart of its coverage of the General Election.

BBC services on radio, television and social media will all reflect these priorities - at network, regional and local level.

On the night of 7 May, and throughout the day on 8 May, we will be offering comprehensive results and analysis, fronted by the most trusted faces in broadcasting – including David Dimbleby, Huw Edwards, Nick Robinson, Mishal Husain, Victoria Derbyshire, Emily Maitlis, Evan Davis, John Humphrys, Eddie Mair, Jeremy Vine, Sophie Raworth, Nicky Campbell, Laura Kuenssberg and Andrew Neil.

Younger voters at the heart of coverage

Generation 2015 is a representative sample of 200 young voters from around the UK who will appear on a range of BBC News outlets to give their take on the issues which matter to them. Young voters will be encouraged to use #inmyshoes to tell the politicians what they are thinking. Young people from Generation 2015 will take part in the special election results programme, building a map of the country showing the results in the piazza at the BBC’s New Broadcasting House.

Online, we will tailor some of our editorial to younger voters, using video and animated explainers where appropriate.

Newsbeat on Radio 1 will offer extensive coverage of the concerns of younger voters, including:

Three one-hour debates with a strong social media element based on questions from 150 people aged 18-24, to be broadcast simultaneously on Radio 1 and the BBC News Channel and later on BBC Two.
An interactive online game to engage younger voters in politics
Free Speech, the debate programme for young people, returns to BBC Three. Presented by Rick Edwards and Tina Daheley, viewers will be encouraged to interact via social media with the panel and studio audience in a series of debates covering issues which are particularly relevant to young voters.

Digital Journalism

Coverage will target the widest possible audience with first-class live political news and analysis on mobile, tablet, app, social media and desktop.

It will be brought together on a homepage at featuring the best of the BBC’s coverage, including pages for each of the nations of the UK.

A Politics Live page will report every twist and turn of the campaign, in text, images, video, audio, graphics and tweets, along with live streams of all the relevant BBC broadcasts, programmes and live events.

A BBC team of experts will analyse and test the claims and counter claims of the politicians in a Reality Check feature on TV, radio and online.

Interactive features and shareable guides will include a poll tracker and maps, a manifesto guide, an interactive ‘coalition builder’ and concise explanations in text, graphics and video of key issues and policies throughout the campaign.

Policy Scrutiny

Reflecting the fragmented nature of party politics as we approach this campaign, BBC One will transmit an unprecedented number of key leader interviews, fronted by Newsnight’s Evan Davis, all in peak time. For the first time, these will feature the UKIP leader Nigel Farage and the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, as well as David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

The BBC Election Debate 2015 on BBC One on April 16 hosted by David Dimbleby and featuring the leaders of Labour, UKIP, the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru.

Aspecial Question Time on April 30 hosted by David Dimbleby in front of a studio audience, featuring individual interviews with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

BBC Breakfast will take its famous sofa out on the road. Presenters Bill Turnbull, Naga Munchetty, Louise Minchin and Charlie Stayt will be hosting ‘Pop-up Sofa’ sessions around the UK offering a seat to voters and politicians to talk about the big issues. Steph McGovern will visit businesses around the country to meet workers, bosses and their families to tackle issues like jobs, wages, and Europe.

The BBC News Channel will cover every key moment of the campaign – tracking the party leaders across the UK, explaining the issues with interactive graphics and updates from the BBC’s Reality Check team.

Victoria Derbyshire, a new programme launching on April 7 and broadcast simultaneously on BBC Two, will feature big interviews and debates from around the UK. Newsnight on BBC Two is moving out of Westminster with ‘This House’, films featuring three families across Britain as they talk politics over dinner, and Emily Maitlis’ Election Marathon, in which she jogs through election battlegrounds while talking to leading political figures and locals. It will also collaborate with psychologist Chris Hanretty and on a sophisticated election forecast model, the Newsnight Index.

Radio 4 will see the Today programme out on the road, with presenters fronting outside broadcasts and the show reporting from 100 seats around the UK. World at One will be extended to an hour and focus on big interviews, with phone-in Election Calls for each of the seven main party leaders. It will also be the main home for Radio 4’s Listeners’ Election project, using the station’s uniquely informed and engaged audience to suggest what the political class should be focusing on. PM will work with its listeners and the More Or Less programme team to highlight where politicians are getting it all wrong - fact-checking the claims as well as the promises. World Tonight will look at the north-south economic divide and the rural vote and will establish special panels discussing defence, security and foreign policy.

Radio 5 live will present 20 live broadcasts hosted from the marginal seats that will decide the campaign. It will also feature a Friday Takeover in which listeners will be encouraged to quiz politicians on subjects of their choice. The network will track a number of undecided voters through the campaign to see how they react to unfolding issues.

The BBC Asian Network will run a specially commissioned poll to understand what issues are important to its listeners and whether the parties are managing to capture the all-important Asian vote. It will also host the first ever election debate across all the 14 Asian programmes on local radio stations in England.

Local and Regional News

Every constituency in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will have its own online page featuring local stories and updates, as well as a constituency profile and full candidate information.

Regional television will screen simultaneous debates from the 12 English TV regions on BBC One on April 29 featuring panels of prominent politicians and questions from an audience of up to 60 viewers.

BBC Local Radio will broadcast more than 130 grassroots debates bringing voters into contact with candidates in key constituencies to challenge them on burning local issues. Local political reporters will use social media and file video and radio clips to online live pages.

For Overseas Audiences

World Service English - Correspondents will be on the road explaining to a global audience how the electoral process works and addressing key issues such as immigration, the North-South divide, voter dissatisfaction and renewed calls for Scottish independence.

On the night BBC One and the BBC News Channel will carry our flagship TV results programme, Election 2015, hosted by David Dimbleby from 10pm on May 7, supported by Nick Robinson, Jeremy Vine, Emily Maitlis and Andrew Neil.

The BBC, ITV and Sky are jointly commissioning an exit poll which will be published when the polls close at 10pm.

Huw Edwards takes over the marathon live results programme from 7am on May 8 until the final result becomes clear during the day. He and his team will stay live on air if the result falls short of an overall majority for any party.

A joint overnight broadcast by Radio 4 and 5 live hosted by Jim Naughtie and Carolyn Quinn. Presenters and reporters from across BBC radio programmes will be at key constituencies and at Westminster.

The World Service will broadcast its own overnight election special.

James Harding, Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, says: “The BBC is the most trusted source of news in the UK. More than ever in the noisy weeks ahead the BBC should be the place people come for the news - news that is reliable and insightful, independent and impartial. The place for accurate reporting, thorough questioning and expert analysis. The place, too, that people come for news that’s moving with the times. This will be election coverage for the internet age.”


Leave a Reply